3.31.2013

PRAGUE DAY 1


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It was so cold out. Our faces were numb with in about 10 minutes walking time.  We quickly made our way to the nearest coffee shop to warm up and find some wifi.
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The view of the terrace from our room window
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Complementary breakfast each morning.  I think I'll miss this in the next two places we are staying!
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Charles Bridge
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Sipping on coffee while planning our itinerary for the day
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One of the side streets off the main square
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One of the Jewish cemeteries we plan to revisit on a tour
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The architecture here is breathtaking
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So many beautiful and HUGE doors.  I feel like only royals should be walking through them!


We made it! 17 hours travel time and we are finally here! We were so excited when we got to our hotel (we got here about about 10pm) that we dropped our bags in our room, bundled up, and headed out to explore a little bit.  It was incredibly cold out at night so we didn't last too long but it was nice to get a sneak peek at what we would see the next day.

I hope to do a few of these picture posts during our trip so I hope you enjoy them! I also have a few outfit posts that a did before we left that I will be posting while away if you aren't interested in seeing pictures from my trip.  I managed to pack everything for the trip into my carry on so lets face it, I'll be wearing a lot of the same things over and over.  So, outfits won't be all too exciting but hopefully you will enjoy following me on my trip in Europe!

Xo, Andrea

I will also be posting on instagram periodically : Aandreaclare
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3.22.2013

MONOTONE


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Sweater – Vintage
Pants-Groggy
Tank – Joe Fresh
Shoes – Aldo
Necklace – Forever 21

Just a simple, comfy outfit today.  I wasn’t doing too much today so I just wanted to be cozy.  And yes, high waist again.  I added my long grey sweater overtop because it covers my back side.  High waist items aren’t always the most flattering from behind and they sometimes make me feel like I have my butt on display.

On another note, my boyfriend and I have been putting together some of the last few things for our up coming trip which is making it seem more and more real.  We booked our train trips from Prague and Vienna last Saturday which is a huge sense of relief.  I tend to panic about these things until I feel like I have all my ducks are in a row.  Slowly it’s all coming together. SO excited! Please feel free to leave tips/tricks/recommendations below if you have ever visited Prague, Vienna or Budapest! We would really appreciate it!

Xo, Andrea
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3.19.2013

HOW TO STYLE A BOOKCASE


IMG_3617For a long time, this apartment was very empty, cold and boring.  Over the last year or so, I’ve managed to create an interesting and cozy apartment on a VERY small budget.  In this post I’ll be showing you how I put together my bookcase and what visually makes it interesting while keeping my bank account happy.
IMG_3618First off, we live in a very tiny space - it’s about 615sq feet. It is basically a living area, open concept kitchen that is attached to the living space, bathroom and small bedroom with a Juliet balcony.  having said that, I had to be careful not to crowd too much into it because it could easily end up looking like something from the show Hoarders.  At the same time, I wanted it to be eclectic, interesting and personalized with things I had collected on my ventures.  There is a very fine line that can be crossed there.  Over all, I think we accomplished the look I had imagined and are very happy with the way it looks at present. However, as many of you know, interior design is never complete.  I am constantly thinking of how I might change it and eying new objects in passing that I might incorporate into the space in the future.
IMG_3591Bookshelf – Ikea, Picture – Ikea, Bar sign – vintage, Martini shaker – Target
The bookcase is just THIS simple and inexpensive option from ikea.  I chose it because it isn’t too heavy looking because of the open back and glass shelves.  Because it is very light feeling, it left me more freedom for all my odds and ends that I used to fill up the shelves.
I couldn’t resist this little mirrored bar sign when I spotted it at a local vintage shop.  Not to mention it cost a mere $2.  It remind me of something from an old country bar. It sits perfectly below our liquor of choice.
IMG_3595Fan – from my grandparents house, Flowers – dollar store, vase – vintage
When my grandparents were moving out of their house, I jumped at the chance to save this fan.  At the time, I had no where to put it but I knew I loved it enough to store it and use it in a future apartment.  I see them all the time in vintage shops.  I’ve seen them sell for upwards of $75 in ritzy vintage shops.  Definitely a good keep and it adds a cool interest to the wall. The flowers fill the space behind the fan and give texture to the shelf.  I kept the colour of the flowers neutral because I already had a few other muted colours running though the unit.
IMG_3594Wooden tray – Superstore
I chose to allot a whole shelf to our liquor because, truth be told, my boyfriend and I like to play bartender on weekends. I put everything on a wooden tray to that it would be easy to slide out and reach the bottles that are tucked away at the back.  This one spoke to me.  I am a sucker for anything made of wood. 
IMG_3599Plant – Ikea, Clock – HomeSense (clearance), Globe – vintage, Wine rack – Ikea, bookends - Ikea
I always think it’s strange when people don’t use their WHOLE bookcase.  Meaning, nothing on the top shelf! I added tall objects that were all different heights to accentuate the height of our ceilings. If I hadn’t done that, the eye stops at the top of the bookcase and makes the room shorter than it really is.
IMG_3602The bottoms shelf seen here is just meant to look casual and not too tidy.  We keep a deck of playing cards and the boyfriends cigars here.
IMG_3600#98 jar – HomeSense, Coffee box – Vintage, Wine crank – vintage
This coffee box is what we use to catch our keys as we come through the door.  I love having spot that keeps my keys out of sight but are close to the door and easy to get at.  Plus, I NEVER spend time looking for my keys, I always know where they are.
IMG_3608Red cross picture- DIY, Picture – Vintage, Brown leather box – Vintage, books – Boyfriends
I like the idea of having a picture rest against the wall behind a stack of books, as seen here (and there are no holes in the walls).  That way it isn’t just plain beige wall behind everything.  Again, I kept it neutral in black and white and the picture itself has a old world feel to it that goes along with the rest of the decor.
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Tray – vintage, Glass box – vintage
As I mentioned, I am a sucker for wood.  Especially aged wood with a decorative design like this one.  I picked it up for just a few dollars at a local vintage shop.  

Just as an FYI – all the books are my boyfriends (he reads a lot of finance based books), the big chest next to the bookcase is also vintage and the chalkboard was a DIY.

So, there you have it.  My eclectic, random and inexpensive bookcase.  The take home message here is that good design does not have to be expensive, you just need a little creativity and time to put into it.  Vintage shops have a TON of cool nik-naks (some of which break my heart to leave behind!) you just need some patience to go through all the stuff and weed out the junk.  I also think that watching design shows and using pictures from sites like Pinterest help a lot if your unsure of how to put it all together. So get in there and give it a try! If you don’t like the way it turned out, return/exchange things and move items around until you are pleased! I can’t tell you how many times I moved all these items around the apartment before they ended up in their current resting spot.

Hope all that was helpful and inspiring! Happy designing :)

Xo, Andrea
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3.17.2013

CHOPPED


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 High waist jeans - Levis
T-shirt - American Eagle
Sweater - Sirens
Boots - gojane.com
Beanie - H&M
Sunglasses - Raybans

If you follow me on Instagram (aandreaclare), you might already know that I spontaneously chopped a good portion of my hair off a few days ago.  I don’t know what came over me! Normally I am the type of person to plan, contemplate, plan some more, think on it, re-plan, ect. ect.  On this particular day, I was headed to the gym, saw a salon that I’d never been to (which is also weird because I’ve being going to the same salon and same lady for years and years!) and asked them to chop it off.  

I have to say, I couldn’t be happier that I did it.  It’s much easier to deal with (it took me minutes to curl it!) and will be perfect for the upcoming trip to Europe.  I think I am going to try to be a little more spontaneous and relaxed about things. Often my thoughts are consumed with “what ifs” and that’s not exactly the way I want to live my whole life.  After all, it’s hair, it’ll grow back.  We’ll see how it goes…

Anyways, how do you like it? :)

Xo, Andrea
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3.14.2013

GET TO KNOW ME–YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED!


I am probably one of the most nosey people I know. Just ask my boyfriend. I love to watch, observe and be curious about people. Everyone is SO different and I find it fascinating to notice those differences. Having said that, these “get to know me” posts and videos are one of my favourites to read/watch. Almost every time I discover a new blog to read or Youtube channel to watch, I will search for a little information about the person. I probably sound like a total creep, but it’s the truth and I know I’m not the only one! So, I thought I would put together a few questions that I got so that you can learn a little bit about me.
If anyone would be interested in a “get to know me” video or if you have more questions, just let me know! OK, onto the questions....

What is your favourite colour?
I don’t think that I have a favourite colour honestly....if I had to pick one I think I would say forest/army green. But that is more of a trend colour rather than a favourite colour of all time.
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Who is your style icon (celebrity/model etc.)?
Maybe Nicole Richie....? as far as within the world of blogging I would say : Sydney from the daybook and Alex from HRH collection.

What is your favourite trend right now?
Well, if you read my blog regularly, you might have noticed that I love anything high waist. Skirts, cut-offs, jeans....all of it. Not only are high waist items WAY more comfortable but they also help to elongate my legs (when compared to low rise jeans).
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I also really love the black and white trend. I find myself shying away from too many bright colours and grabbing my neutrals and muted pieces most of the time. I just think that black and white is so chic, effortless and classic. Can’t go wrong.
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What has been your biggest fashion mistake of your past?
I think I would have to say the ultra low rise trend in high school. The Dorhina jeans were extremely popular during those years and I honestly don’t know how we got away with wearing them. They were famous for their one inch zipper and definitely did not leave much to the imagination. So bad....ugh.

What is your gym routine?
I wish I had a good answer to this. Truth be told, I just go when I feel like it.
Growing up I was never a gym person (I had never stepped foot into a gym until about 4 years ago) because I was always active in figure skating and horseback riding. Fast forward to my second year of nursing when I was no longer skating and I gained about 10 pounds. I lost the weight by changing what I ate, how much I ate and joining a gym.
For the most part I like to do the group classes at my gym. I feel like I work a lot harder with other people around me and an instructor yelling at me. On days when there aren’t any classes being taught, I will generally do a combo of cardio and free weights. For example, 20 minutes on the elliptical (doing intervals), 20 minutes on the stepper (again, intervals) and then 20 minutes of free weights. The next day I might do 20 minutes on the treadmill (changing the speed and incline throughout), 20 minutes on the elliptical (intervals) and 20 minutes of a combination of free weights, burpees, push ups ect.
For the most part, I only go to the gym if I feel like it. I don’t force myself to go to the gym if I don’t want to because I don’t want it to become a place I hate to go. On days I’m really not feeling the gym, I’ll try to get out for a walk or run the stairs nearby my house.
On average, I would say I get to the gym 3-4 days a week in addition to living a healthy lifestyle but choosing to take the stairs when I can and not taking the parking spot closest to the store.
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I noticed here that you are going on a Europe trip. I want to know more. Where, when and what are you going to do?
My boyfriend and I will be travelling to Prague, Vienna and Budapest at the end of the month and we are SO excited. We haven’t really set an exact list of things we will do there - we plan to keep it fairly relaxed and just enjoy the culture. I am so excited to try all the different types of food and beer!!

What is your favourite season for fashion and what is your favourite outfit in that season?
Favourite season pertaining to fashion would probably be fall because I love to layer and I LOVE boots. Favourites outfit would be anything that is full of layers, textures and warmth!

How many pairs of boots do you own?
My boyfriend would probably say a million, but I think I have about 6 pairs of boots that I really wear regularly. I have many more pairs still at my mom’s house that I don’t wear often. I just can’t bare to get rid of them.

What is your favourite place to shop?
I really love to shop vintage. A few favourites are Talize and Value Village. I love the thrill of the hunt and the fact that when you find a real gem, it’s not likely that another person will have that exact same piece.
In terms of retail shops – I love Zara, H&M and forever 21.

Where do you get all those great recipes for your healthy eating?
Many I find on Pinterest or on the daytime TV show The Chew. LOVE that show! I have it set to record every day. I am definitely the type of cook that never follows a recipe exactly. Often I will skip the salt or other unhealthy ingredients and try to bring in other tasty, healthy flavours instead (which doesn`t always work out). I mainly do this with baking. I almost never add oil or sugar to recipes. Some of my favourite substitutions are replacing mashed banana for butter, greek yogurt for oil and apple sauce for sugar! Try it!
 
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Thank you so much to all of you that left questions! It was fun! I hope you feel you know me a little bit better now!

Xo, Andrea
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3.09.2013

MY STYLE (SPRING EDITION) VIDEO

Oh hello again!
I put together a video of a few things that I have bought recently and use them to create outfits I will be wearing this coming spring.  Most (if not all) the outfits would require a jacket over them here in Vancouver at the moment but fingers crossed that warmer days are headed our way!



P.S. Holy smokes do I need a new computer!! This took me hours and hours and hours to edit together because my computer kept crashing and corrupting clips I was using.  If anyone has any suggestions as to a good computer for editing and programs to go along with it, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!! 

Also, I will doing a `get to know me` post in the next few days.  If you have any more questions you want me to answer, just leave them below and I will add them to the list!

Enjoy! And thanks for watching :)

Xo, Andrea
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3.07.2013

INSTA LATELY

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Loving beanies lately.
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Men's wear slacks, studded shoes and neons.
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One of my favorite corners of our little apartment.
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Finally found the perfect high rise jeans from Levi's.
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Protein packed mini turkey meatloafs and veggie quinoa.
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A black maxi, graphic T, leather jacket and a beanie.
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Still loving my cutoffs.  Even on cold days.
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Two toned nails.
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L'oreal Infallible lipstick.  I have 3 of these now.  They really do last hours and hours!
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Butter chicken soup from scratch. Loaded with kale and other greens. 

Just a few pictures from Instagram lately. I freakin' love that app.

Xo, Andrea
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